A beginners guide to coffee: Jamaican Blue Mountain

July 14, 2017

You’d be hard pressed to find a coffee bean more expensive and sought after than the venerable Kona bean, that is unless you were aware of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It’s not unusual to find Jamaican Blue Mountain beans at around $50 a pound, making it easily on of the most expensive coffees around.

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While the price may be intimidating at first, those willing to take the plunge will find Jamaican Blue Mountain to be one the finest, tastiest coffees around.

Region and history

As the name suggests, Jamaican Blue Mountain beans are grown on the Blue Mountains located on the eastern portion of Jamaica near Kingston. The Blue Mountain area is cool and misty with a high amount of rainfall. The abundant rainfall along with the extremely rich soil and high elevation makes the area ideal for growing coffee.

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Due to the fact that the coffee is grown on a mountain range, harvesting the bean is extremely difficult and time consuming. Furthermore, there is very little land available for coffee tree growing, this combined with the high demand for Jamaican Blue Mountain beans is the reason for the coffees high price.

Packaging standards

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Just like Kona, thanks to it’s scarcity and price, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is often sold as part of a blend. Packaging laws allow as little as 10% of Blue Mountain beans to qualify for the product to be labeled as a Blue Mountain blend. This has led many an unsuspecting buyer to purchase substandard bags of coffee at high prices. If you want to taste the coffee at it’s best, look out for coffee that is labeled as 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain

Flavor profile

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As one can expect for a coffee that can cost as much $10 a cup, there’s a fair deal of debate as to whether Jamaican Blue Mountain is actually worth the price. One thing is for certain however, When brewed correctly, Blue Mountain coffee is delicious.

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is regarded for it’s balanced and smooth taste, bright and clean acidity, and almost total lack of bitterness. Despite the high acidity, the coffee also has a full body, which makes for an extremely unusual combination that results in a coffee that is rich and creamy as well as bright and zesty.

When it comes to actual flavors, expect to taste hints of sweet herbs, nuts, and chocolate.

Food pairings

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is versatile when it comes to food pairings. The coffee’s balanced taste and subtle flavors go well with any number of foods. Here are a few suggestions:

The nutty and herbal notes in Blue Mountain coffee pair well with maple bacon, try drinking a cup alongside some maple bacon pancakes.

Sticking with the Caribbean theme try pairing Jamaican Blue Mountain with some Jerk Chicken. The spices in the chicken will really bring out the flavor of the coffee.

James Aitchison
December 14, 2019
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